Emergency Text-to-9-1-1 Now Available in Brevard County
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizoncellular phone customers in Brevard County now have the option to Text to 9-1-1in an emergency beginning today (Wednesday July 25,) following technologicalupgrades at the county’s 11 Public Safety Answering Points that receive 9-1-1emergency calls.
Customers of the four major wireless carrierscan now send a text (up to 140 characters) directly to 9-1-1 in an emergency inwhich a call is not possible, or when speaking out loud would put the caller indanger. Also, Text-to-9-1-1 provides the deaf, hard of hearing, and speechimpaired residents with direct access to 9-1-1 Service.
“Having the capability of Text-to-9-1-1 providesinvaluable safety and protection for more Brevard County residents and enhancesthe ability for someone in danger or distress to reach out for help to firstresponders in an emergency situation where they can’t place a phone call to9-1-1,” said Brevard County 9-1-1 Systems Manager Deborah Sands.
Calls or Texts to 9-1-1 are received at variousPublic Safety Answering Points, municipal police departments, county lawenforcement and county fire rescue, that alert the appropriate rescue agencyfor response throughout the county. 9-1-1 Administration is a division ofBrevard County Emergency Management, which implemented the technology upgradeenabling this advancement. Text-to-9-1-1 was funded through a 40-cent fee paidby customers on their wireless carrier phone bills.
“This broadens the scope of 9-1-1 and its valuein a specific range of emergency situations,” said Brevard County EmergencyManagement Director Kimberly Prosser. “It’s not intended for general, regularuse, as calling 9-1-1 is – nine out of 10 times – your best option in anemergency. But this does allow us to provide better service to the deaf andhard-of-hearing, and also assists people in situations where silence isnecessary.”
While Text-to-9-1-1 is available, texting shouldonly be used when a person is unable to make a voice call to 9-1-1.
For any 9-1-1 emergency, Call if you can; Text if you can’t.
To text 9-1-1 in an emergency:
NEVER TEXT and DRIVE!
- Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field
- The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed
- Push the “Send” button.
- Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
- Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
- Keep text messages brief and concise.
- Do not send pictures, emoji’s or video
- Do not send group text
- Voice calls to 9-1-1 are still the best and fastest way to contact 9-1-1
Please pull over to a safe location andstop your car before sending a text to 9-1-1.Remember:
Do NOT Abuse 9-1-1 - Text-to-9-1-1 service is ONLY for emergencies:
- A text or data plan is necessary to place a Text-to-9-1-1.
- Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if your phone is roaming.
- As with all text messages, texts to 9-1-1 may take longer to receive, get out of order, or not be received at all; if you do not receive a text response from 9-1-1, try to contact 9-1-1 another way.
- You will get a “bounce back” message if you are in an area where the service is not available telling you to make a voice call.
- It is a crime to text or call 9-1-1 with a false report.
- Prank-texters can be located.
Text-to-9-1-1 service is not available everywhere in Florida or the U.S.